Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) met virtually with Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to discuss the mental health needs of Nevada’s school children. She recently wrote a letter calling on the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education to launch a coordinated, all-of-government response to help students recover from the severe stress and trauma they experienced during a year of remote school and isolation.
“Nevada’s students have endured an unimaginable year full of isolation, stress, and trauma caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and we need to make sure our federal government is working together to help them recover. As we continue to safely re-open our schools and get kids back in the classroom, their mental and behavioral health must be a top priority. Today, Secretary Cardona and I talked about the tragic rise in mental health challenges and student suicides in Nevada, and he agreed to work with me on a coordinated, all-of-government response to their needs. I look forward to continuing my work with the Department of Education to provide Nevada with more school counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other vital mental health services. ”
Cortez Masto is a leader in the Senate in advocating for solutions to mental health crises, leading legislation to specifically help students and other groups experiencing heightened challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has introduced sweeping legislation to give Nevada communities the support they need to deliver comprehensive behavioral health services and to improve the emergency response to mental health challenges with mobile crisis response teams.
The first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate, Cortez Masto has also consistently advocated for mental health equity and access for communities of color, and she has introduced legislation to establish July as BIPOC Mental Health Awareness month. She has met with students in Nevada who have shared their concerns about the impact that the pandemic has had on their mental health.